Discrimination in nationality law
Equality Now has previously highlighted examples of sex discrimination in the nationality law in its report, The State We’re In – Ending Sexism in Nationality Laws, including:
(i) Unmarried mother cannot pass to a child born in country on an equal basis with unmarried father
(ii) Unmarried mother cannot pass to a child born outside country on an equal basis with unmarried father
(iii) Married mother cannot pass to a child born in country on an equal basis with married father
(iv) Married woman cannot pass to foreign spouse on an equal basis with a married man
Lebanon must give women equal citizenship rights to men under the nationality law
The CEDAW Committee specifically questioned the State’s reluctance to end the discrimination in its November 2015 report on the country, and called on the government to “adopt legislation ensuring women equal rights with men to confer their nationality to their foreign spouse and children.”
Although Lebanon ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1996, the State made reservations to article 9 (2) that states that “States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children,” in addition to other articles which together constitute flagrant discrimination against women in Lebanon.
In 2011 the Minister of Labor Mr. Charbel Nahhas introduced amendments to the labor law aiming to eliminate various forms of discrimination against the non-Lebanese spouses of Lebanese women and their children.
These amendments have enhanced the situation of families of Lebanese women married to non-Lebanese men, but they do not go far enough.
Lebanon must progress and bring its laws in line with other nations in the region.